Frequently Asked Questions
When formulating their repatriation plans, our Heads of Schools have had to consider a wide range of issues, including around curriculum delivery and issues such as these.
Although during the transition there might well be a small fall in absolute numbers of procedures logged overall, we are confident that any reductions will be small and that these changes will not impact negatively upon either quality or on any trainees ability to meet the requirements of the curriculum.
Moreover, we will be monitoring the situation very closely and working with our Training Programme Directors to ensure that every trainee has the opportunity to access the necessary training experience required and therefore, subject to satisfactory progression, obtain their CCT
Please note: There is a particular issue with General Surgery that is currently being investigated by Heads of School.
The process of engagement and consultation is an important part of these processes and Health Education England has with this in mind established a Project Board to oversee this piece of work.
The Project Board is clinically led, with appropriate governance arrangements placed in order to ensure transparency, accountability and that any decisions eventually agreed are implemented safely.
These governance arrangements include:
- Having joint Senior Responsible Officers: These are the Directors of Education and Quality (DEQs) for Midlands & East (Simon Gregory) and London and the South East (Liz Hughes). The Senior Responsible Officers (SROs) are responsible for overall strategy and final sign off on behalf of Health Education England;
- Having a Project Steering Group: Jointly led by Postgraduate Deans’ for East of England (EOE) Professor Bill Irish and HEE local area team covering North Central and East London (NCEL) Dr Sanjiv Ahluwalia. The group is accountable to the SROs.
- Group membership includes; PGDs (EoE, NCEL & NWL), Senior Commissioning and Operations Managers, a dedicated Project Manager, trainee representatives and Administrative Support responsible for the day to day management of the project, including;
- Project Workstream Groups (London and South East (L&SE) and the East of England). All proposals from the Project Board are considered by a variety of groups and/or individuals and the memberships of these groups varies but typically includes Deputy Deans, HoS, TPDs, the Project Manager, Foundation School coordinator, Secondary Care coordinator, trainee representatives and members of staff from Recruitment, Assessment, Commissioning and our Programmes Teams.
There are currently two trainee representatives on the Project Board and these were nominated by EoE and L&SE. As we move into the planning phase of repatriation for the majority of the c300 posts that are to be handed over, Task & Finish Groups will be established for each of the specialties affected by these plans and we have asked our Heads of Specialty Schools’ to ensure that these groups include trainee representatives where ever possible.
We have also established a monthly Project Briefing which is sent to all trainees and this contains a monthly invitation for any trainee to let us have feedback and/or any questions. These requests should and can continue to be sent to: EoEandLDNseparation@southlondon.hee.nhs.uk.
There are no plans currently to reconfigure rotations or programmes and Health Education England has already said that it will try and honor, wherever possible, commitments given around placements, certainly during any transition.
However, it is accepted that as full repatriation gets underway it might be necessary for us to reconfigure programmes in order to ensure that they continue to be balanced and deliver the full breath of the curricula required. This process will be undertaken in accordance with existing processes and will involve trainee representatives wherever possible.
Any changes impacting upon existing trainees will also be discussed with the trainees involved and we will also seek advice in terms of assessing any impact in terms of the equality duty.
The Project Board is however not under any obligation to provide specific posts as a result of expectation or assumption on the part of any individual trainee. This has always been the position.
Health Education England remains committed to supporting its trainees, including when they have additional family and/or care responsibilities. We will continue, via our Training Programme Directors and other support processes, to do all that we can to make reasonable adjustments and/or accommodate individual needs and circumstances when making decisions around rotations and/or placements.
The Project Board will make every effort to accommodate such requests insofar as is practicable and obviously within the limits of available resources.
Current trainees are “excluded” from the process of repatriation and there are no plans to move current trainees to EoE. Current trainees are of course free to apply for opportunities within EoE and/or to request an inter-deanery transfer (subject to approval) exactly as now.
However, the process of repatriation is phased and so this means that for a large number of specialties, L&SE managed programmes will continue to rotate into EoE posts and in some cases for several years. Trainees in these circumstances will be London & South East managed trainees.
The Project Board fully appreciates the anxiety which exists around this issue and throughout the duration of the project the Board will continue to give this matter very serious consideration. This is why it has already agreed to slow down repatriation in some areas, to regularly review plans with stakeholders and to commission additional posts where gaps have been identified as a result of any planned repatriations, and of course to exclude current trainees from this whole process, trying wherever possible to honour commitments previously given.
The Project Board remains committed to working with all stakeholders, including our trainees, on ensuring that any repatriations are undertaken safely and take account fully of curricular needs across the foundation and specialty programmes in both LSE and EoE.